2021.09.20 21:26 BallPythonsTV Anyone have any idea why my redwood is wilting like this? (I live around Chicago, if location has anything to do with it.) It's been going strong since mid-Spring, so I don't know what's up with it.
2021.09.20 21:26 StoryPenguin This sweet potatos peel has veins
|submitted by StoryPenguin to mildlyinteresting [link] [comments]|
2021.09.20 21:26 WretchedCentrist I’m not sure if this is real or not.
|submitted by WretchedCentrist to crappyoffbrands [link] [comments]|
2021.09.20 21:26 squincherella Meal prepping on a budget
How to meal prep and keep grocery costs down? I can’t keep spending $200/week on groceries just for myself… I’m already eating just the plainest things like oatmeal and chicken and rice and I’m so sick of it. I don’t know how to keep my protein high enough for my needs and afford it… I’m a 5’8” female weighing 156 and only eating 2100 right now to lean out a bit before I start adding calories for gains… which will cost even more…. I apparently suck at counting macros for cheap and I’d like to work on that.
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2021.09.20 21:26 Akinter Vi esse post e achei interessante trazer essa ideia pro futebol BR, qual o maior "what if" do seu time?
2021.09.20 21:26 CaizzPlayzz When your teacher hates you so they set 122 slides on PowerPoint as homework
|submitted by CaizzPlayzz to school_memes [link] [comments]|
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2021.09.20 21:26 Trash_Tia I found out the horrifying secret behind the mandatory Summer camp in my town. What does it even mean to be human?
It’s been longer than 24 Hours, I apologise.
This is almost becoming clockwork now.
I try and write, I fail, and ultimately fall apart. You should know by now that I'm struggling, that every part takes a lot out of me. However, I am sorry for promising an update so soon—and failing to come through.
I did try, but it's this part that I've been dreading since the start. I can write about Aceville's secret, the filthy truth behind my town and every 18-year-old's fate, as well as my capture and fate as a defect, even that I am no longer human—but now I'm here, almost at the end, it's getting progressively harder to stay sane; to keep myself in check.
I have to pretend to breathe. In and out. In and out. I have to force myself to write, and it's no longer like watching my fingers dance across the keyboard, it's more like a chore. It's this part that's been creeping up on me, and I've spent the last five days trying to think of a way to give you an ending to our story that isn't lies. Because believe me, I want to lie to you.
Until now, I've treated this like therapy wrapped in a narrative to make it easier, or a creation project as Sam would say. It's better to make something out of your trauma than relive it again and again until you go crazy. So, I thought that was what was best. A story. Like, a book, I guess. I could tell you everything that's happened to me in the best way I knew how. Writing. Now, though, I'm starting to regret it. I don't want to write this as a story anymore. It fucking hurts. I turned the people I love into characters so I could deal better— so reliving these memories would be easier. Now I want nothing more than to just end it in as little detail as possible.
How am I supposed to do this? That's what I asked myself at the beginning. This started out as a 500 word post, exposing my town for the crime's it has committed, to make you all aware. So why did I turn it into something more? Why did I turn it into a story with an ending I knew I wasn't going to do?
I've been told not to trust strangers—even ones on the internet. So why am I here? Why am I still writing to you? God, why do I trust you? That thought is driving me insane. You are no one. You're just a faceless shadow behind a screen. The others are right. I'm naive for calling out to you, telling our story. But I know there's another reason why I'm writing this, why I'm forcing myself to give you an ending—even if that ending has been playing on my head for a year now, haunting the back of my mind. It won't go away no matter how much I scream into my pillow, trying to take the phantom pain away with a razor to my dead flesh. Why am I crucifying myself trying to give you the last pieces of my story that I don't want to tell? I mean—if I'm being honest with you, I've already written an ending.
I told you everything. Without detail and description. Without these characters I've made from real people who have lived and breathed, who I've lost. That's kind of cruel though, right? That's what Sam said, anyway. He said there was no point in giving you four whole parts if I wasn't going to end it properly. The others want what is best for me but are cautious of me hurting myself again. And I know this will hurt. This will fucking hurt—as much as living it.
Maybe rebooting changed something inside us, something that we haven't known about — but it's almost like a psychic link. They know when my thoughts are thunderous, when I'm screaming into my pillows and standing over the faucet with a razor in my hand. It didn't make sense to me that I couldn't feel real pain, even when I self-inflicted it. I didn't want this second life. This second life that I can't even call living.
How can you live without a heartbeat?
That question is always at the forefront of my mind engulfing every other thought.
How am I living, huh? I want to scream at myself. How are we living day-to-day like every other human being on this earth, when we're not? We don't have blood in our veins, breath in our lungs; things that I took for granted, things that I notice every day. And it's like fucking dying all over again. I want to be upset. I want to be angry and helpless and feel pain. That is what makes us human, right. Our emotions. What we feel. But I can't fucking feel it, because it doesn't exist. It's like—god, it's like living in a suit of metal, in a body that pretends to be human when it's not. It's a big fucking lie that I have to deal with every day. Sometimes it makes me wonder. As horrifying as it was, maybe the program was—merciful. It stops us thinking. It stops us feeling. Wouldn't that be better? Who in their right mind would want to live like this?
Who would want to live without blood in your veins? Humans are more than their thoughts. Their self-awareness. They're flesh and blood and organs that beat and pound and breathe. I can't call myself human when I am none of that.
I'm just—here. I'm stuck. I guess you can already tell I am stalling like every other post. I only got out of bed a few hours ago. I'm sitting under a sunset—colours I can't be bothered to describe are blurring the sky, and it's hard to concentrate. There's a dull orange haze around me. It's late Summer, and I'm trying not to think of Aceville Summer's. The ones that stick in my mind are when Nick, Bobby and I were in middle school, when I first started getting butterflies for Bobby, and when Nick's voice broke—completely out of nowhere. I remember swimming in the river and sunbathing on the rocks. We took a picnic and told spooky stories.
I'm trying to channel those feelings I felt back then—right now. I'm imagining the cool breeze tickling my bare toes and playing with my hair, ice cold water lapping at my feet when I stuck my toes in the shallows. I can't feel the breeze these days, but I know it's there. I can see it playing with the trees, making them sway back and forth. Sam is sitting opposite me pretending to go over our plan for the next few weeks. He thinks I haven't noticed him casting worried glances over the top of his notebook. Sam is like an older brother—an annoying one, but I know he means well. I know he's there in case I splinter apart writing this. I've promised him I won't.
And if I do, I know I can trust that you will understand.
That you will come back.
When I last left you, Clara and I had reached the facility. After shooting the guards standing outside, she had grabbed my arm, keeping a steely grip, and dragged me through the entrance. The corridors were empty to my surprise. Stuffing her pistol down the waistband of her pants, Clara led me down the hallway, taking slow steps. I stayed quiet as we headed up the stairs.
I was getting flashbacks to the night before, when I'd lost Nick. When he'd been dragged away, and I couldn't save him. His words were still rumbling in the back of my mind, reverberating in my skull; "Don't let me become a white picket fence freak," he'd gasped out.
"Promise me, Addie!" And I'd promised him. I'd promised him with my last breaths under the stars, waiting for my heart to stop. I'd promised him when he'd been dragged away to be programmed again. Just thinking about him—about my best friend, about saving his mind, made me stagger over myself, struggling to keep up with Clara. When we reached the second floor, she stopped at a door, pressing her face against it. It's—weird. The last time I'd been standing on that corridor, my filthy feet on perfect marble flooring, my breath had been wrong, thin, barely a flutter through my lips—and pain. I had been in so much pain; the kind of pain that made me want to die.
Now, though, all of that was gone. And I craved it. I craved what had made me feel so alive, so desperate, in the first place. Instead, I was numb. I was dead flesh. "If Fuller is going ahead with Nick's programming, he should be in one of the rooms downstairs." Clara pushed the handle down and the door opened. She let out a sharp breath. "First, though, we're going to make a quick detour." Before I could speak, she turned to me, her expression darkening. "Addie, you don't have to come in if you don't want to." she said. "You can wait outside, but this is something I really need to do." The way she was grasping the handle, her knuckles turning white around silver steel, I knew whatever was in that room—it meant something to her. Meant something to Sam.
"What's in there?"
Clara frowned, her lip curling slightly. "Addie, if it's too much—"
"No, I'm okay."
The girl shot me a look—the type mom gave me when I bought a Sabrina The Teenaged Witch comic in eighth grade. Disapproving. Clara was five years older than me, and she was already like the big sister I'd never had. The room we stepped into wasn't a programming room. I would have recognised the machines Nick had talked about, and then the ones I'd seen, blades and saws and knifes—tainted red. I'll never get that image out of my head. Inside this room, however, what I saw was worse. Clara was already making her way over to a piles of clothes on pristine white floor. As I followed her, though, I saw that it wasn't clothes I was looking at.
They were bodies, my classmates piled on top of each other. I saw purple and blue rings decorating their shirts, and grey dead flesh, eyes still open, frozen in horror. I saw blood spatters. But it was old blood—deep red cardinal decorating them. For a moment I was caught in my own thoughts. I was seeing it all again, my classmates shot right in front of me.
But I didn't scream. I didn't cry. I just—stood there, waiting for pain, and knowing it wasn't coming. I watched Clara buzz around them like a frenzied insect until she straightened up. She was smiling. I couldn't understand—why was she smiling? Why did she look so hopeful when all I saw was spattered red?
"They're okay." She gasped out. Maybe she was crying, or trying to cry, but I couldn't tell. She pointed to each one, like she knew them. But she didn't. Clara didn't know Elodie McIntire, or Tommy Chambers. Elodie had invited me to her slumber party at the end of sophomore year, and Tommy had helped me decorate the gym for the junior prom when nobody else would. Both of them had stories, both of them I had known my entire life, and they were dead.
They were—dead. Just like that. Just like Summer Forest. Sadie Lily. Danny Rue. I tried to look at them like they were still with us, still human—still them. But I couldn't, because when I looked closer, there was something—wrong. Something off. Before I could fully take it in and register it, Clara's hands were on my shoulders, and she was gently pushing me back. I know I was looking for Nick. I was always looking for him, even when I didn't want to find him. But it wasn't Nick that I saw. It wasn't Nick, so I should have been relieved. I should have been—happy. "Addie." Clara said. "Hey, don't look, okay? It's—it's better if you don't look."
But I couldn't not look. I couldn't not see that pieces of them were... missing, like they were incomplete jigsaw puzzles. Clara was laughing. I mean, I thinks she was. Her smile lit up her face, but her eyes were far too haunted for me to believe it. "They still have their Neurons! Addie, they're going to be okay. They're going to reboot."
I swallowed thickly, forcing my gaze from the piles of bodies—from Tommy and Elodie.
"They're freshly dead." Clara explained. "When we get Nick, we're bringing them too. We can save so many." She checked the backs of their necks. "Their Neurons are still installed and active. They're going to be okay."
She kept saying that.
They're going to be okay.
I wanted to ask her how that was possible, when they had been hacked apart; when legs and arms were missing, skin cruelly stitched back up. But I couldn't not feel the slightest tinge of hope when looking at Clara right then. "Sam is going to be ecstatic," she whispered, grasping my arm for dear life. At that moment she was like my anchor, keeping me stable. Keeping me afloat. I wouldn't think about Nick, or the gruesome scene in front of me twisting my gut into imaginary knots. "Every year he blames himself when we can't rescue as any many kids as possible.”
Clara's gaze dropped to the ground, her voice splintering. "He goes into this— this state, when he just sits there staring into space. None of us can get him out of it. When we first started saving kids, and ultimately losing them, he said that it's just— cruel. The Neurons are cruel. He said he'd rather cut his out than pretend to breathe... " She trailed off, letting out a sharp breath. "I won't let him. I know it's awful to try and force someone to live when they're not really living, when all they want to do is just—end it. Maybe I'm selfish, but I can't do this without him. He's been with me for the past five years, and I can't imagine a morning or night without his whiny ass," she laughed, but it was choked up. I figured the two of them were friends, but seeing Clara's expression when she talked about Sam, how she got choked up— I realized they were something more.
Her smile was sad. "When I look at him, I know he doesn't want to be here. I know he's doing it for me, and I hate myself for making him stay. But—I know that saving other kids is worth it. It gives him a reason to keep going."
"Is he...?" I trailed off, swallowing the rest of my words.
"No." She said, but I could tell by the pinch between her brows that I was right. I should have seen it in his expression, in his sardonic attitude and scowl. Clara sighed. "He's just tired of us losing. Fifty seniors get on that bus every year, and we end up with two or three if we're lucky. Last year was our worst. We lost the whole class, Addie. And that nearly drove him over the edge. The thing is, we can't smoke or drink, or have sex. Well, we can. But we don't feel anything from it. We can't taste cigarette's or get high on the buzz of alcohol in our system. Everything humans have to take this superficial pain away, even if it's just temporary—we don't have that."
Clara's gaze flicked to the defects. "I know it doesn't seem like much. But to Sam? It's everything." She let out a sigh. "That scar on his face? Yeah, he did that. When we lost all those kids, he tried to mutilate himself."
Her words were whirring around my mind, and I was trying to register them, trying to understand that Sam didn't want to pretend to live anymore—and if he felt like that, would that thought ever cross my mind? Would pretending to live without real feelings drive me crazy too? Something caught my eye, though, and I was pulled from my thoughts. There was something moving on the other side of the room, and I couldn't help myself.
I stumbled to a metal table where a body was lain out. I recognised him; it was the same boy I'd seen slumped over a soldiers back, who I thought had been incinerated. But—no. He was right in front of me, pale flesh glistening with that greyish tint I knew all too well. KJ—Kenji Leonhart. His eyes were shut peacefully, lips parted. I remember him only vaguely from my school days. He had been a quiet kid who usually kept to himself or had a very small group of friends. I was too busy focused on what I remembered, though. Not what was in front of me. I didn't want to see it, to fully take it in. Clara was already next to me, her pale fingers prodding at rough stitches running up porcelain skin. "He's rebooted." Clara said softly. Though her gaze was on something else.
I couldn't stop staring at the stitches. My eyes kept flicking back and forth, between Kenji, and what I refused to take in. I knew it was there, what Clara was staring at, but again—I didn't want to look at it. If I did, I would break apart all over again. I wanted to get out. I wanted to leave Clara, leave the facility, and just—run. In my mind, I would run until I could breathe again, until air flowed into my lungs and my heart pounded in my chest.
"Did they... did they cut into him?" I whispered.
"It looks like it."
I had to push the words out. They wouldn't form on my tongue, tangled like alphabet soup. "So, we heal?"
Clara hummed, not looking away from Kenji. She grasped hold of his limp hand. "It takes a while, but— yeah. Thank Sam and I were kidnapped by agents we thought were a married couple helping us. We told them about what happened to us, and Aceville. They took us back to their little house and fed us, gave us a bed for the night. I woke up at the sound of gunshots. They put a bullet in Sam's head, and the mine. It happened too fast for me to really register what was happening." Clara's gaze ran up and down Kenji's body, her voice cracking. "I woke up choking on sea water with a hole in my head which just spat the bullet back out like a goddamn cartoon."
Clara's eyes were glistening, but no tears came. I wondered how many times she had seen the same thing. Kids that come back who have been hacked apart, kids programmed into mindless drones, and kids who are incinerated.
She sniffled and swiped her nose with her free hand. "The same thing has happened here, but it looks like he's had surgery pre-defection." Her words weren't quite hitting me, because all I could see was the white cooler sitting on a silver stand next to the table the boy was lying on. I knew what it was, but I wasn't even going to entertain the thought. When Kenji's arm moved, his fingers curling into a fist, Clara leaned forward, grasping his hand tighter. "This might be unpleasant to watch." She whispered. "You don't have to be here."
I couldn't speak, my gaze stuck to the stitches, and then flicking to the cooler. I pretended not to see tiny splashes of red around the rim, just under the lid. Clara grasped the boy's hand tighter and twisted around to look at me.
"He's rebooted without his heart."
That was the moment I started feeling more like myself—like I was human again. I could feel myself trembling, shivers ricocheting up and down my spine. Even if it wasn't real, even if the Neuron was faking these sensations and feelings, I was grateful for them. "No." I whispered in finality. Because in my world, the world I believed in, that didn't happen. That wasn't—it wasn't possible. I struggled to steel myself, keep my head above water. But it was so hard—it was so hard when I was seeing a boy who was alive, a boy whose eyes were flickering open, and automatically going to the ceiling where they didn't stray. I was seeing a boy living without a heart.
"No, I don't—I don't understand," I was crying, sobbing, for my classmate—for someone I barely knew, and those tears didn't come, my heaving chest and sobs mechanical and wrong. I was as wrong as him. I was just like him. "What happened to him?" I found myself asking, my tone on the edge of hysteria. I know our brains trick us into seeing things, sometimes. We can perceive things differently to what they really are. But no matter how many time I blinked, squeezing my eyes open and closed, open and closed—open and closed, I was still seeing the same thing. I was still seeing the cooler, and clumsy stitches gluing dead flesh back together sealing an empty husk.
His eyes were open, and there was awareness. He knew what was happening. He knew he was alive, and yet his gaze never left the ceiling.
"Addie." Clara's voice was soothing, dragging me from the despair I'd fallen into. While she spoke soft words to the boy, she turned to me. "That phrase," she murmured. "I want you to say it, okay? Out loud."
"Which one?" I choked out. It was so easy, then, to remember I was dead, to become aware that I wasn't breathing, or if I was—they weren't my breaths. I wanted to feel— something; something that wasn't mechanical emotion. Default happy and sad. I wanted to feel pain. I wanted to feel agony searing me apart.
"Ignorance is bliss." Clara said stiffly. I could tell by her tone she was barely keeping it together. "You don't want to know what happened to him, Addie," Her gaze didn't leave Kenji. "You just want it to make sense. And it doesn't. Nothing in this room makes sense, so just calm down, okay?" her eyes were pleading, and I remembered what her fate had initially been. Her mother wanted her heart. Seeing it happen right in front of her, what could have been her five years ago—God, it must have been killing Clara, pushing her to the brink. "Please."
She was right.
I wanted it to make sense. I wanted an explanation to why—to why his eyes were open, his lips mouthing soundless words, when his heart had been taken out and been stored for an anonymous doner.
With her attention on the boy, Clara's voice was barely a breath. She didn't let go of his hand. "What's his name?"
"Kenji Leonhart." I managed to get out. I knew him as KJ, but people normally called him Kenji.
At the mention of his name, the boy moaned. It was a soft whine, an attempt at a cry for help.
"Cold." Kenji mumbled, his gaze flicking around in panic. "I'm cold."
Clara bit her lip, wrapping her arms around the boy and lifting him to a sitting position. Kenji's head lolled to the side. "I'm so cold," He whispered, strength creeping into his voice. His eyes began to focus, awareness bleeding into fruition. He jolted like he'd been shocked, shuffling away from Clara. "Why am I so—fucking--- cold?"
"Hey." Clara's voice was motherly. She stroked his hair. "It's okay. The Neuron in your neck. It's keeping you conscious. I know you're scared. You've got to trust me, okay? We're going to get you out of here."
"No!" Kenji choked out, his eyes widening. He wrapped his arms around himself. "No. My mom is coming to get me. She wouldn't let them— she wouldn't let them do this." His trembling hands landed on his chest, pawing rough skin. It was either he was in denial and knew what had happened to him— or was oblivious. Either way, I wasn't going to be the one to tell him. I couldn't. How are you supposed to tell someone they're dead?
"I don't — I don't understand," He whispered. "I'm cold. Why am I cold?"
Clara didn't answer. I don't think she knew how. Though I saw emotion prick into her expression, no matter how mechanical it was. She helped him off of the metal bed and he immediately lunged for a scalpel sitting on an examination table, pressing the blade to his neck. Kenji's eyes were wild. "I just cut it out—right?" He gasped out. "I can cut it out, and I'll stop—stop feeling like this... right? Whatever shit's inside me, I can get it out!"
Staying calm and silent, Clara managed to wrestle the blade from the boy, but he didn't fight back. He seemed to be in a state of shock. But so did she. Clara was seeing what could have been her, and I think it was breaking her. She held the boy while he sobbed and struggled, his bare feet slipping and sliding on cold marble. I expected her to speak to him, to murmur reassurances. Except she didn't. Clara just held onto him like letting go would mean losing him forever. "No," Kenji whimpered like a child, "No, I— can't. I can't feel. I can't feel anything but— cold. I'm cold. I'm so cold. I'm cold, and my mom— my mom isn't coming for me. She told me— she told me she'd meet me off the bus when we got back to town. So where.. where is she? I can't see her anywhere. Is she coming?" His eyes were unseeing, staring straight through me. Straight through the white box. I was sure Kenji was a million miles away, his mind somewhere else— somewhere kinder. Maybe he was looking for his mom.
"I don't want to be cold!" He was shrieking, and she had to place a hand over his mouth, muffling his cries.
Kenji collapsed in Clara's arms, and she lulled him back and forth, like she was calming a child. After a moment, her gaze found mine. "Go and get Nick." She said. "I'll save these kids, and we'll meet Sam at the rendezvous."
Before I could speak, Clara pulled out her gun, pressing it into my hand. "Do you know how to use one?
"No." I managed to get out.
"Two bullets left." She panted, struggling with a squirming Kenji. "Make them count. Just point and shoot."
I took the gun with shaking hands. It moulded perfectly into the flesh of my hands. "What about you?"
She sent me half a smile. "I'll be okay."
I wanted to stay with her, with Kenji. But I had to find Nick. I nodded and left the two of them. The last thing I heard was Clara's soothing voice trying to calm down my hysterical classmate. Keeping my head down, I took two steps at a time down the stairs. Still no guards.
Fuller must have them on the outside looking for potential defects, I thought. Clara's words were still in the back of my head. "I'll be okay." She had said but was willingly putting herself in danger to save those kids. I was gripping the handle of a door I was sure was the room Bobby had been inside the night before, when a voice sounded out, echoing down the hall, slamming into me like waves of ice water. At first I thought I was imagining it, because surely—no. She couldn't be here.
The person I had trusted my whole life couldn't be in this place. But then I remembered rain pouring down on me, my knees splattered with dirt and Summer Forest's blood; my mother directly in front of me, a gun pinpointed between my eyes. That voice. I'd promised myself that the last time that I'd hear it would be the morning before our attempted escape. When I was texting Nick about the talkies, and Bobby to bring snacks, she had added more pancakes to my plate. "Extra syrup?" Her smile had been bright, and fake. Oh- so fake. Just like Nick's dad. Bobby's mom. And I felt loved. I felt safe. I felt like maybe I could tell her that I was in love with my best friend.
Mom. The facade around her had shattered. She was exactly who I thought she was, a monster. Standing in front of me, my mother wore the same animal printed sweater she had worn the morning before camp. Her blonde hair was in its usual no-nonsense ponytail, and I hated—I hated that I could see so much of me in her.
I didn't know what to say, so I said the first thing that came to mind. "Nick." I spat out. "Where is he?"
Mom cocked her head. "Nicholas Castor is nothing to do with you anymore." Mom said, her tone stiff and steely. Nothing like I remembered it. "I find it hard to believe that you still feel for him with a defective body." When I opened my mouth to speak, she shook her head—like when I was a kid. "Adeline, we're tired. We're tired of chasing you around. While you were running around playing games with valuable stock such as Nicholas Castor, an eight-year-old child died because he was waiting for your lungs." She folded her arms. "Do you understand how much pain you have caused his family? Adeline, he was counting on you and you let him down."
Her words were like needles perforating my flesh. "Stop." I felt myself shaking. My fingers grazed my pocket where I'd stuffed Clara's gun. Point and shoot, I thought. But could I really shoot my own mom?
"His name was Adam." Mom continued. She knew she was getting to me. She fucking knew it, and I hated that I looked so weak—even without proper emotion, real feeling, I was still weak. I was still pathetic. Mom knew exactly how to get into my head. "He suffered from cystic fibrosis since he was born and your lungs were going to give him a new life. A better life where he was no longer in pain. How does that make you feel, hmm?"
Like my world was crumbling apart, I wanted to say.
I had nothing to do with this boy— and yet I felt like I had killed him. That his blood was on my hands.
"You're a monster." I gritted out.
Mom scoffed, rolling her eyes. "I'm the monster? Do you know how many people we save with this program? With successes, we program them, and the ones on the cutting room floor are donated to the needy." She narrowed her eyes. "And here you are, long past your expiration date, running around with a defected body. You're selfish, Adeline. You always have been. All you had to do was submit to the program, and we wouldn't have to do damage control. We wouldn't have to put Nick through the Pollux procedure twice. You've caused so much trouble, and you still stand there and call me the monster. Young lady, do you have any idea what you have done?"
"Mom—" I tried to say, tried to make her understand.
"Are you happy, hmm? Are you happy you've made a big, dramatic scene and refused to serve your purpose?" She took a step forward. "Tell me, sweetie." Mom murmured with that smooth voice, the one I always fell for, the one that made me think she loved me. "Is it worth it? Standing in a defective body with dead organs, is it worth fighting for a life that you think is yours?" She cocked her head. "Adeline, you are not alive. Do not delude yourself. The only thing tricking you into thinking you're a human being is the device keeping your brain active. What are you are supposed to be, and have failed to be, is an Aceville soldier. A young recruit who does not ask questions and kills on demand. When you die, you come back better and stronger, a shell, if you'd like."
I couldn't help it. Inside, I was screaming for Nick. I was screaming for her to tell me where he was.
But words were escaping my lips, ones I couldn't swallow back.
"What's the difference?" I asked stiffly. "Between Adam. And me."
I was naive enough to have hope mom might hesitate, to sugar-coat her words. But—no. She didn't care about me and had made that abundantly clear when her job was to shoot her daughter through the head when I turned out to be a defect. So why was I expecting anything else? Why was I expecting my mom?
"Adam is human," He said automatically. "He lives and breathes. He was not created to be a soldier. While you are not human. You do not live and breathe. You're a defective recruit, and you're my responsibility to eradicate, Adeline." She almost looks sympathetic. "There is a reason why we incinerate defects. Don't think we do it because we're cruel, because we're not. We're not the bad guys you think we are." Mom shook her head. "It's mercy. Why on earth would we keep you alive? A conscious mind inside a dead body? Addie, that would be cruel. You know it would. And I know that you wouldn't be able to live in that body for days, never mind years. How can you stand yourself?" she whispered. "How can you stay sane without a beating heart?" She barely called me Addie. Only on special days, like my birthday, or when I was sick. It was always Adeline.
I couldn't move. Knowing I wasn't getting through to her, I knew what I had to do—to get to Nick, to escape this hell she had put me in. Because I didn't choose to be born into Aceville, and no matter how much she tried to emotionally manipulate me, I deserved a life—like Adam. We all did. Nick and Bobby, and Clara and Sam.
"Can we go?" I asked, like we were in the mall and she was taking too long deciding on a dress for me for prom. I needed my mom in that single moment—if she was dead to me. I needed the person she been masquerading as. Even if it was for so little time. "You and me, mom. You'll take me away from here. Right? We'll go away from here." I said those words, pulling the gun from my pants. I said those words, pointing the barrel between my mother's eyes with no hesitation. Like she had done to me. Right before putting a hole in Summer Forest's head. Mom raised her hands, though she didn't look wary. She didn't think I was going to do it. I remembered threatening to spray her in the face with a garden hose when I was twelve because she confiscated my barbies.
"Tell me." I said. “Tell me it's going to be okay."
Mom cleared her throat. "It's going to be okay."
It's so much easier to kill someone without real, proper emotions. It's so much easier to kill someone when you have a reason. The gunshot slammed into my skull, reverberating in my ears. I didn't see the impact of the bullet, but I did see my mother collapse into a heap. I waited to feel something. Pain. Anger. Sadness. Regret. But I felt none of that; only a sense of — relief. Thank That I didn't have to keep lying to myself.
Unlike Kenji Leonhart, I knew exactly who my mother was. She was a monster, a monster who had brought me into this world for the sole purpose of tearing away my humanity. I should have felt remorse when red started to pool on pristine white, but there was—nothing. I wanted to go over to her and check for a weapon or key-card, but I found my feet glued to the ground, just—staring. I couldn't stop staring at the dead woman who had pretended to be my mother. Did she know? I wondered. In those last moments, did she know I was going to do it?
I was forcing my legs forwards when a voice stopped me dead in my tracks.
"See, that is what we want from you. That is an Aceville soldier, Adeline."
I know... I know I said I wouldn't break, and you must be getting frustrated by now. I know I promised Sam, but I need to stop writing, at least for a bit. I said 24 Hours last time, and I updated a week later. That won't happen this time. It's in my head—everything is in my head, and I feel—fuck, I feel like it's about to explode. I know I'm almost there. Just a little more—and I'm done. I'm done, and I can put our story to rest and finally be at peace. We call all be.
I just need to write it. Then it will be over. I need to write it, and it will be over.
I'll come back tomorrow, I promise.
submitted by Trash_Tia to nosleep [link] [comments]
2021.09.20 21:26 Legitimate-Place6210 What pretends not to be a scam is absolutely a scam?
2021.09.20 21:26 ghstmoney [USA-MA] [H] GMK Yoda 2 Limited Edition [W] PayPal
Selling my GMK Yoda 2 keycap set. Mounted and lightly used for about week and then haven't used them since.
Looking for $130 USD + $10 shipping
CONUS only. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Comment before PM please.
submitted by ghstmoney to mechmarket [link] [comments]
2021.09.20 21:26 andrecht4 MEGA HOUNDOOM 6981 8110 6980
2021.09.20 21:26 BlOoDyTeArS22 Replaying FFIV Advance on my Retroid Pocket 2. About to take on Mt. Hobs and head to Fabul.
|submitted by BlOoDyTeArS22 to FinalFantasy [link] [comments]|
2021.09.20 21:26 Whitee84848 W: qe25 laser rifle H: legacies
2021.09.20 21:26 zaboma789 First Build.
2021.09.20 21:26 Nephelus 3D Printed Warhammer 40K Nemesis Halberd / Sword (Transformable)
|submitted by Nephelus to cosplayprops [link] [comments]|
2021.09.20 21:26 ContraCanadensis According to Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post, our fans deserve bad football because we don’t care enough.
|submitted by ContraCanadensis to Jaguars [link] [comments]|
2021.09.20 21:26 VallenGale Because I have been seeing all the other crafty witches post their creations this is mine. I call it my forest witch sweater because the color ways are moss and storm front.
|submitted by VallenGale to WitchesVsPatriarchy [link] [comments]|
2021.09.20 21:26 Durnbez Three players looking to join US West group
Three veteran MMO gamers looking for well organized company making a push into New World. We're PvP and crafting focused.
We aren't dead set on the classes we're playing (hard to pick, they all seem pretty fun) or trades we're focusing on just yet. There's a good chance one of us will be a healer, another a tank, and the third guy is planning on primarily flinging ice.
submitted by Durnbez to NewWorldCompanies [link] [comments]
2021.09.20 21:26 Txur-Itan He doesn't know he's an YouTuber who post satire content. Also why did it get 1.2k upvotes?
|submitted by Txur-Itan to polarsaurusrex [link] [comments]|
2021.09.20 21:26 vk000mk74 My starting games. Still not had a chance to play them because my 3ds has been delayed in the post
|submitted by vk000mk74 to 3DS [link] [comments]|
2021.09.20 21:26 ReVeila Just Me?
Is it just me, or despite how much of a legend Randy Orton is, he's still underrated? Perhaps the most underrated Legend WWE has.
Think about it, Taker, Stone Cold, John Cena, etc are all talked about on the Network, getting specials, best of, etc. as well as every legend being talked about on week to week programming, but Randy Orton is still..talked about less?
It might just be me. I also think RANDY ORTON should break Flairs Record, if anyone. Cena is never around, HHH doesn't wrestle anymore, Orton has been full time for as long as he's been there, besides a few injuries.
submitted by ReVeila to WWE [link] [comments]
2021.09.20 21:26 Rossugmanmeeten Xbox one X Hdmi port/ retimer IC failure.
2021.09.20 21:26 TronicBoy Complete Google Classroom Course: Teaching Google Classroom
|submitted by TronicBoy to udemyfreebies [link] [comments]|
2021.09.20 21:26 Ecstatic-Swordfish87 🔥 THE AUTHENTIC MINIFLOKI ARRIVES AT BSC 🚀✅OWNERSHIP RENOUNCED - LP LOCKED 100%
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submitted by Ecstatic-Swordfish87 to cryptostreetbets [link] [comments]
2021.09.20 21:26 andmagdo The editors really seem to like GNOME Maps
|submitted by andmagdo to softwaregore [link] [comments]|